Police take over Tiger Temple cases

Police take over Tiger Temple cases

National parks and wildlife officials seized tiger skins, tiger cub carcasses and talismans made from tiger parts at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province on June 1. (Photo by Piyarach Chongcharoen)
National parks and wildlife officials seized tiger skins, tiger cub carcasses and talismans made from tiger parts at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province on June 1. (Photo by Piyarach Chongcharoen)

Police have taken over the investigation into the alleged illegal trade in wildlife at the Tiger Temple from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the department, on Monday handed over information about the wildlife and the carcasses found at Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno in Kanchanaburi province, better known as the Tiger Temple, to deputy national police chief Chalermkiat Srivorakan.

Mr Adisorn said he also gave information about the disappearance of three tigers from their cages there last year. Past investigation had made no progress in the case, he said.

Officials had filed complaints against three monks and two men at the temple. They had been released on bail, Mr Adisorn said. The charges involved alleged wildlife trafficking and forest encroachment.

All 137 tigers had been moved from the Tiger Temple in Sai Yok district to wildlife breeding centres in nearby Ratchaburi province, he said.

Officials of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation suspected monks and staff at the 1,419-rai Tiger Temple were involved in wildlife trafficking with a neighbouring country. DNA tests on tigers rounded up at the temple and carcasses found there could help determine if the temple was a source or transition point of wildlife trafficking, Mr Adisorn said.

Pol Gen Chalermkiat said he would take a personal interest in the Tiger Temple cases.

The department filed eight complaints with police and five teams of police interrogators were formed to handle them, he said.


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